The Quantic Dream
Alejandro Grover / Feb 13th, 2013 No Comments
Escape the Norm
In this day and age of formulaic video games, there’s nothing more refreshing than a video game development studio that prides itself on blatant, game-changing innovation. Quantic Dream is a video game development studio based in Paris, France, which also lends its renowned motion capture services to film and video game industries. They’re well known for having their own motion capture studio, which consists of a 64 Vicon camera set. Aside from being a company that helps other creative agents, Quantic Dream is constantly striving to innovate and push forward a genre that it is responsible for creating in the video game industry itself.
The Innovative Spirit
[adsense250itp]David Cage, the studio head for Quantic dream, has always been very vocal about his intention to change the way people experience video games. The most well-known and recent example of this is probably the critically acclaimed Heavy Rain, which embodied elements of a dramatic thriller with the style of film noir. The main plot revolves around the pursuit of a serial killer who chooses to drown his victims during extended periods of rainfall. The “innovative” aspect of this game was that gamers would take control of different characters at different times, but all have the goal of tracking clues to discover the killer’s identity. Each choice that is made in the game affects future outcomes. Some of the main characters may even die or be detained, which would dramatically change the course of the game. The game is also heavy on psychologically and emotionally affecting the gamer through gameplay. There are several other unusual innovations in this game, such as pressing a button to be able to hear the thoughts going on inside the character’s mind, which may or may not be relevant to anything in the game. A book could probably be written on the incredible amount of details and innovations that have been presented in this game, so this article isn’t going to try to do that. Heavy Rain is one of the few video games that requires multiple genres to justifiably label itself. Heavy Rain has been labeled as an interactive drama, action-adventure, and psychological thriller… A far cry from “First-Person Shooter”, or “RPG”, or “Survival Horror”… This is good news! for a lot of reasons. This means that video games should start to gain more credibility as a respectable medium across the worldwide media spectrum. This is also means that gamers are going to get to enjoy video games in new ways, keeping gamers on their toes, rather than feeling like the video game industry has a linear range of genres to choose from. To be able to pick up a game that will not conform to any standard gamer expectations is something special, so the next question is…
Keeping in line with the innovative spirit, David Cage has publicly stated that although there has been some downloadable content for Heavy Rain, he will not create a game like “Heavy Rain 2”. He feels that it would be nothing more than milking the franchise. He has also made it clear that he wants people to get inspired and create competition in the field. Yes, David Cage is very emphatic on emotional story telling with complementary, innovative, interactivity, but he wants more developers to create some diversity so as to push this new progressive genre forward. That being said, Quantic Dream is currently working on a title featuring actress Ellen Page. Yes… Ellen Page. Quantic Dream does not plan to slow down its fearless innovation, but rather plans to go even further in their newest project titled Beyond: Two Souls. When trying to place this game in a genre, a combination of words alien to video games emerges: Psychological, Spiritual Thriller. One thing that hasn’t been touched upon in this article is the gorgeous visual experience that Quantic Dream is able to put on the screen. With their combination of outstanding artists and their motion capture studio, the graphics are vivid enough to give a person chills. Ellen Page has spoken of David Cage’s passion for the game, saying she was inspired by the combination of interactive gameplay and story that was profound, emotional and subversive. She also talked about the fact that because the game could go in so many different directions, she had to act out elements of a story with emotional intensity in a variety of contexts, some of which the gamer may never see. With Ellen Page’s dedicated performance, this game is going to be a killer. However, one cannot expect to have a conventional gaming experience in this brand new platform. If the goal is cheap thrills and headshots, this game would probably be pretty disappointing. After all, the plot of the game deals with deep, poignant concepts such as life after death, the idea of a soul or a spirit, and it involves taking control of a character named Jodie Holmes from age 8 to 23. It is a 15 year journey to discover the true meaning of what lies beyond. It really makes a person wonder. How is this going to be a game? Well, if any of this innovation taking place is sparking some interest, rest assured, Beyond: Two Souls is expected to release sometime within the first quarter of 2013.
tags: Beyond: Two Souls , David Cage , Ellen Page , heavy rain , opinion , Quantic Dream